The hybrid terrestrial-satellite networks represent an interesting paradigm in the wireless communications world. This kind of systems allows providing, via satellite link, communication services to remote unreachable areas or complementing the coverage in urban and suburban environments through terrestrial gap-fillers, providing a better quality of service in a wider area.
The recently published S-MIM standard, developed under the frame of the European project SafeTRIP, defines a hybrid system presenting these advantages. Through a flexible, scalable and modular architecture, it offers different classes of services such as interactive mobile data and multimedia broadcast, mobile terminal and vehicular messaging or real time emergency services mainly focussed on Security Forces, Civil Protection and Fire Brigades.
The key tool of emergency communications
S-MIM offers new perspectives in the world of mobile communications, providing an efficient and reliable communication channel for the deployment of different Machine-to-Machine (M2M) applications, mainly those related to the world of transport. Some examples of these potential applications are the vehicle telemetric, real time traffic monitoring, emergency messaging and monitoring of hazardous and dangerous materials. This technology can be considered as a clear candidate for supporting the development of other systems encompassed within the (Smart City) concept.
In this sense, and as an example, Smart Traffic systems must be able to detect and prevent traffic congestion by informing the drivers about real-time road conditions. Therefore, it results essential a system able to collect the data related to the traffic state, incidents on roads and environmental information.
Taking all these needs into condideration, S-MIM seems to be an ideal candidate, as the tests performed until the date demostrate. However, S-MIM still finds some challenges, mainly focussed on the European regulatory frame, where every country must grant a license for the terrestrial section of the S-band.
At this moment, Gradiant follows with interest the evolution of this standard, from a technological, regulatory and commercial point of view. At the same time, Gradiant works under contract on the development of an S-MIM system, taking advantage of the wide experience of its research team on satellite and terrestrial communications systems.